The nine-month-long trial of the directors of two failed finance companies has been aborted.
Paul Bublitz, Bruce McKay, Richard Blackwood and Lance Morrison were on trial in the Auckland High Court before Justice Mark Woolford.
Their judge-alone trial was originally expected to take 12 weeks when it started last August but stretched on and the Financial Markets Authority's prosecution was whittled down numerous times.
It was on track to be one of the longest trials in New Zealand's criminal history before being aborted this morning.
McKay and Blackwood served as directors of Viaduct Capital while Morrison and Bublitz were on Mutual Finance's board. The firms went into receivership in 2010, owing investors $17 million.
Bublitz, according to prosecutors when the trial began, allegedly used the two finance companies to support his property investments.
The other defendants in the case were accused of helping him.
But Justice Woolford, in an oral decision this morning, aborted the trial.
The Herald understands it is now up to the Crown and the FMA on whether they push for a re-trial.
An FMA spokesman confirmed that the trial had been aborted and said the organisation was considering the judgment.
The Viaduct and Mutual trial was the last of the FMA's finance company prosecutions.